Stylish Eco living doesn’t have to cost the Earth
When it comes to the crunch, the dollar is often the deciding factor in whether or not we act according to our well-meaning eco values. We can be as eco-minded as they come, but realistically our purses are our limits (something you might remember me discussing in this post). Fortunately being eco-action-based doesn’t always have to be a drain on finances. The following five money and environment saving tips, while simple, will see you taking positive eco-action without having to take out a second mortgage.
Think secondhand first
While many people who read Sustainability in Style are already secondhand-shopping-savvy, it’s surprising how many folks fail to embrace secondhand shopping as their first option. There is no better way to save money, get what you want, and be a good recycler than shopping for a secondhand item. One of the sad but true results of the fast-fashion economy we live in, is that you can now find current season style items (often in brand new condition) in thrift stores, op-shops and seconded e-retailers across the globe. I believe that if you can’t find it secondhand you aren’t looking hard enough! Sometimes items (specifically fashion items that were a sell out) become more expensive to buy from individuals online due to their sold out cult like status. Be wary of buying these items as it creates a bit of a ‘scalper’ style market for fashion, however, if your desire for it outweighs the pain it’s purchase will result in your bank account it might be worth taking the short term hit.
Every time you head out and forget something important you will end up buying it. Whether its a sweater, an umbrella, or your lunch, being forgetful costs money and results in mental and physical clutter. The best tip for remembering to bring your own is to make a plan the night before. Think about where you are going, what the weather will look like, and what you will require to get through all aspects of your day. If you factor eating out into your plan, put some cutlery into your bag to save on disposables. If the weather report says there is a chance of rain, plan on taking your umbrella. Having a designated area to store all your items you wish to take with you will help you remember when you head out the door in the morning.
Get yourself some supportive friends
This tip might sound like a bit of a cop-out but it’s an important one. It can be really difficult to stick to a budget and act in an eco-friendly way if you are spending time with people who like to spend and aren’t supportive of your eco mission. While I don’t recommend un-friending them on Facebook, it’s a good idea to keep track of your social activities and see how much they cost you and the planet. Conducting your own eco and financial audit is as easy as writing a few notes and tracking your spending for a few weeks. If you find that some folks aren’t good for your budget or your eco-ego try to find alternate activities for spending time with them. If they enjoy shopping at the mall why not suggest that they join you at a clothing swap or flea market for the morning instead (no need to tell them they are recycling, just let them enjoy the bargains). Get creative with your catch ups!
Swap up your commute
Did you know that being creative with the paths that you travel on a daily basis can enhance the happiness in your life? Swapping your solo car ride for an alternative mode of transport at least one day a week will help keep things fresh and some dollars in your pocket. Solo car travel is a pricey hobby in regards to fuel, wear and tear, registration, and road tolls. It’s also a very carbon intensive way to travel! More often than not there is a huge fee just for parking our chunks of moveable metal for the day. It makes sense for the health of your body, the environment and your bank account to try out alternative means of travel.
Rethink the number of kiddies you create
Parenting is for life. Back in our grandparents or great grandparents times we used to have lots of children because their assistance was required for running family businesses and farms. During these times children were more likely to die young from now preventable viruses and diseases. Fortunately for us 2017 folks there are vaccines for most childhood ills and we have technology and mass production systems that mean that we don’t have to toil in fields to eat for the evening.
We also have exponential population growth and limited resources. One of the most cost effective and eco-friendy things you can do is to have replacement rate (two) children or less. There are also people who opt out of parenting. If you meet these people don’t make them feel bad for this. Respect their decision and know that for every couple that decided kids aren’t for them, there is an option for a big-brood kid loving mamma and daddy to have an extra. Kids require time, money, and love. Make sure you are willing to give all three of these things!
What are your eco tips? Do you have a fave budget friendly one? Share it with us.